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Eisa Hall (in Okinawa City): Immerse Yourself in the Proud Traditional Performing Art of Okinawa
post : 2018.09.20 06:00
Eisa is a performing art and a traditional event held during the Obon period according to the lunar calendar in Okinawa since long ago. Nowadays, as many of you may already know, Eisa has become a fixture in representing Okinawa’s culture and performing arts.
In Okinawa City, located in the central region of Okinawa Island, the Eisa culture has taken a deeper root than other municipalities The city has declared itself as “the town of Eisa” in 2007, and hosts the Zento Eisa Matsuri (All Okinawa Festival) every year. On March 25, 2018, the Eisa Kaikan (Hall) opened its doors at Koza Music Town, at the core of the Eisa culture to provide comprehensive information regarding Eisa. The facility offers an experience based learning area where visitors can learn about the history and culture of various contents and enjoy Eisa from various angles.
First of all, the scale of the Eisa Hall will excite any Eisa fan, totaling a floor area of 1,000m2 with the free admission zone on the first floor, and paid admission zone on the second floor!
Welcoming the visitors at the first floor entrance is a mailbox of the lovable Eibo, the city’s mascot character. A step through the door, you will see a giant screen introducing the history and culture of Eisa.
The free admission zone, referred to as the Welcome Corner, is a lounge area where visitors can get information and see some of the exhibits. You can enjoy the Eisa quizzes as well as the world’s first (and only?) Eisa Kaikan’s original printed sticker machine. There are also Eisa related goods, items, Sanshin (the three-stringed Okinawan instrument) and Paranku (hand-held drum) available for purchase at the shop. There’s even an area for various events, too.
The spacious second floor is the paid admission zone, where there are exhibits and hands-on learning areas. The first thing you’ll see when you walk up the stairs is the wide and open central passageway. To your left is a layout inspired from Michi-Junei, the procession of Eisa performers through the town during Obon. At the far end is a large screen showing visuals of narrow roads and alleys of a town, expressing the long-loved tradition of Eisa performances in the neighborhoods.
At the far end on the right hand side is the Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri area, which is well worth seeing. The display panels and visuals show scenes from all of the past Festival, starting from the very first one.
In the four other sectioned off areas are various contents that will definitely satisfy all your Eisa cravings!
For example, the display panels give a great overview on various information such as the history and relationship of Eisa and Okinawa City, and introduction to Eisa groups not just from Okinawa Prefecture, but from across Japan. You can also actually touch and really feel the essence of Eisa through some of the displays, like the Paranku drums, Sanshin, and costumes that you can put on for photos.
There are numerous monitors showing footage and sounds throughout the exhibit, like the original image PV by the famous Okinawa City musician, Rinken Teruya, as well as projection mapping, VR devices and more. The experiences offered here are diverse and innovative, and sure to excite all the visitors!
The Eisa Hall aims to exhibit in various ways, all things related to Eisa, but also encourages people and groups to provide information, records, items and others, in order to preserve and hand down the tradition of Eisa to the next generation. There’s no question that the facility will continue to improve and offer more and more over the years. It truly is the command center of Eisa to and from around the world!
Learn, know, see, and hear. Touch, move, experience and enjoy shopping. Unlike other facilities, the Eisa Hall offers intellectual and cultural entertainment for the visitors to thoroughly enjoy the pride and joy of Okinawa’s traditional performance art, the Eisa!
Eisa Kaikan (Hall)
Address: 1-1-1 Uechi, Okinawa City, Okinawa
Hours of Operation 10:00-21:00 (Last entry to the paid admission area, 2nd floor is 20:30)
Closed: Wednesdays (If Wednesday falls on a holiday, the following day will be closed)
General Admission: 300 Yen
Students (Elementary School to High School): 100 Yen
Under Elementary School Age: Free
*Group discounts available for a party of 20 or more people.
Parking: Paid Parking Available
*Parking discount available when using Koza Music Town Parking.
Website (reference) https://www.facebook.com/eisakaikan
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)